I am currently midway in the process of drying out chicken feet. Without a food dehydrator it is a very long process using salt and one of the lowest heat settings on your oven. Chicken foot charms are used by many practitioners of different metaphysical systems of witchcraft. However, the practice originally comes from Voodoo and Hoodoo. Chicken foot charms are used for protection and to “scratch out” negativity. These are also used for enemy workings to “scratch at” or “scratch” your enemy. Usually you would paint up and decorate your chickens foot charms, but I am familiar with practitioners using the dried chickens foot as is. Your chickens feet would go through a process of consecration, blessing, and charging prior to use. You may hang these charms in your home, car (to protect from theft), and even incorporate into jewelry and with mojo bags.
Lets talk about Chicken feet and their use in the practice of Conjure/Rootwork.
Chicken feet are basically tools found within Conjure practices as a mean to cleanse a person from crossed conditions. The belief is that in the old days when people would have animals around their house, it was not uncommon to own chickens who occasionally would walk around the property freely during the day, seeing as Chickens scratched the ground out around the house in search for small insects and worms to eat throughout the day, looking at it as a form of sympathetic magic, a chicken foot is used in the practice of Conjure/Rootwork as a cleansing tool, scratching lightly the person with the intention to scratch out any negative energy or crossed condition attached to a person. there are many ways to use this tool and it varies depending on the tradition one practices, now I can only speak from my personal experiences and practice with this tool, so I will explain the way I use the chicken foot as a tool to cleanse yourself with them.
Cleansing with a Chicken foot.
The photos posted above are of one of the chicken foot I’ve personally made to cleanse myself with the help of my ancestors. the process can sound simple and it can be to an extent, I tend to do Spiritual cleansings in sets of 3 to 5 days, and not all of them are the same, I will explain a basic way to cleanse yourself so you have an idea on how to work with them, I learned this type of cleansing from my Conjure teacher Mama Starr Casas.
First I would gather my supplies, Florida water, a candle and the chicken foot. first I would do a prayer to my ancestors asking for them to assist me to cleanse all negative energies and crossed conditions known and unknown, it is important to pray and petition from the heart, get a good amount of Florida water in your hands and brush yourself from the crown of your head to the bottom of your feet, next with the chicken foot in hand, scratch lightly with the claws while praying and asking your ancestors that all crossed conditions and blocks can be removed from you, again petition from the heart, you will want to scratch from the crown of your head to the bottom of your feet, scratch downwards in a sweeping motion, don’t scratch yourself too hard either, last I would get the candle and again pray that the candle picks up whatever is left and be removed, again the candle should be brushed from the crown of your head in a counter clockwise motion and followed by sweeping downwards to the bottom of your feet and from heel to toe. after the cleansing is done, you can pray for blessings while dressing yourself with a conjure oil on whatever intention you might have, would it be to protect yourself, or to draw money, or have good luck, it is important to understand that by doing a spiritual cleansing, you are removing something from you, leaving an open spot which can be filled up with the help of Conjure/Magical Oils and powders to help you achieve your goals and blessings. Don’t limit yourself to do a spiritual cleansing when you believe to be crossed or thrown at by an enemy, you can do this types of work in a regular manner to clean yourself, and to avoid having any type of blocks, sometimes we are around people who don’t mean too well towards us, they might act one way when they are around you, but their intentions might be different.
I hope you enjoyed my first blog post, thank you for reading and if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
I took an Amtrak train from Seattle to Portland earlier this year and could not believe how much it felt like stepping into a time machine. I was sincerely called “doll face” by an elderly gentleman selling snacks in the concessions car, I was approached by a stranger who wanted to borrow a portion of my physical newspaper, etc, but most remarkably, it seemed to be a phone-free zone. It was the longest amount of time I had spent in a public place where a group of congregated people were not staring down at their tiny palm-sized screens for as long as I can remember. That in itself felt time-machine'esque.
I always imagine I’ll one day find myself telling my young nephews, to their dismay, “I can remember a time when we couldn’t instantly look up the answer to every fleeting question that entered our minds…and when people read newspapers printed on paper while traveling on trains.”
“It seems that every time a new technological advance comes along, people try to emulate a past medium. Photographers used to shake the camera and put Vaseline in front of the lens to imitate paintings. Those who took photographs on glass would scratch the negative to imitate brush strokes. Then the Apple II computer came along, and it was the same story. I always found it bizarre that people were trying to imitate the effects of a medium that was totally different. Instead, I thought to myself, What does this new technology, device or medium invite us to do that artists have never done before? So I started experimenting with things that the computer can do. Right now I’m focused on educational software and visualization of mathematics. There is more and more focus on student-centered learning rather than lecturing. The goal is to help students discover and construct their knowledge of algebra, so if they forget something they can reconstruct it. How do you do that? I started making interactive visual tools where a teacher can bring up a slider with a linear equation and say, ‘We have this line here. What do you suppose ‘m’ does?’ And the students can speculate. Then you ask, ‘Ok, does everybody agree? Let’s try it.’ And you change the slider, increase ‘m’ and watch the line go up. It’s a visual way for the teacher to do a guided discovery in a math class. You are asking questions instead of lecturing.”
A while back I scanned a bunch of film negatives and slides. Some of the negatives were scratched and/or faded, so restoration work is needed. Everytime I’m going through files sorting I come across them, do a quick look through and find something calling out that inevitably sidetracks me. It’s almost always worth it. This is in Austria. The view from a castle up on a hill…